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White House does victory lap over lop-sided debt ceiling deal

 May 31, 2023

There was a visible sense of jubilation at the White House following the recent agreement on the debt ceiling that prevented the U.S. from defaulting.

Shalanda Young, the top White House negotiator, described the deal as a victory for the Biden administration. Despite the official line that the American people were the primary winners, the Daily Mail reported.

A Winning Feeling in the White House

Young began her discussion of the agreement terms in high spirits, even cracking jokes. She further noted the readiness of the Biden administration to override one of the Republicans' major conditions.

Young conveyed that the deal's purpose was to steer clear of default and that it was crucial not to impose harmful and extreme measures on the American people.

Commenting on a Republican proposal related to Medicaid that the administration did not support, she emphasized the necessity of shielding elements that could harm hardworking Americans.

Young endorsed the idea of setting up reasonable spending levels and fulfilling Congress's basic constitutional duty of avoiding default.

Republican Dissent and Potential Consequences

While some Republicans advocated for deep cuts, a House-passed bill in April suggested rolling back spending to 2022 levels and capping increases at one percent for the next decade.

In the midst of this, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy faced growing difficulty in convincing hardline party members to support the debt ceiling deal.

Critics within the Republican Party argued that the agreement could add an estimated $4 trillion to the national debt, even though it includes $136 billion in budget cuts. As a result of these reservations, McCarthy might confront a vote to remove him from office.

Challenging McCarthy's Leadership

Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-08) publicly suggested the idea of ousting McCarthy due to the debt limit agreement, expressing a lack of confidence in his leadership.

He raised this possibility at a press conference held by the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, suggesting that no one in the Republican conference could have performed worse in the negotiations.

Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), a member of the Freedom Caucus, expressed stark criticism over the recent debt deal, saying, "The Republican conference right now has been torn asunder."

He suggested, "Not one Republican should vote for this deal – not one," NPR reported.

Despite this internal critique, McCarthy continues to present the agreement as a Republican triumph. He told reporters that he wasn't concerned about the motion to vacate while raising questions about the Democrats' contribution to the agreement.

The deal, announced on Sunday, needs to be rushed into law before June 5, which is projected to be the day the federal government could run out of cash and fail to pay its credit bills.

The House is anticipated to vote on Wednesday, while the Senate could potentially take more time before it reaches President Biden's desk.

Shalanda Young, acting as the White House budget director, urged Congress to pass the bill. She stressed that the agreement represented a compromise, which inherently meant that not everyone would receive everything they wanted, and difficult decisions had to be made.